quiet gimmicks & LOUD EXCEPTIONS

June 23, 2022

Tom 7 made an album without listening back to it. I thought this sounded like a fun challenge and wanted to try it out. All songs were made in MuseScore without listening to them, sort of like if I was actually writing sheet music by hand. Since MuseScore asks for a song title when you create it, song titles were generated using words from the memorable-wordlist crate. I tried to make the song fit the vibe of the title.

I don't really like this workflow, if I'm being honest. Maybe it's burnout from this being my fourth day album in less than that many weeks, but it just turned into the musical equivalent of doodling in the margins of my notebook. I found it hard to find the energy to refine things when I couldn't see how things work. There's not much basis for change there. These arrangements are some of the samiest.

My boredom with this gimmick led to me switching horses part of the way through. Instead of MuseScore music I can't listen to, the second half is VCV Rack music I can listen to, with the same title generation process. I guess this turns this into the world's shortest double album?

I definitely want to mess around more with VCV Rack in the future. It's a delightful tool once you can wrap your head around all the cables.

The font on the cover is Basteleur by Keussel / the Velvetyne Type Foundry.

Tracklist (21m 39s total)
  1. concave timber (1m 15s)

    This song is in the key of D, for Deciduous. Marimba and oboe are for a woody sound.

  2. rotunda wield pictures (1m 37s)

    This song starts in the key of E minor, for Easel, then modulates to D minor, for Decorative images. When I started this album, I was worried I'd stick to staple chord progressions without experimenting. I might've overcorrected here.

  3. bowling preparation beading (1m 13s)

    I used vibraphone here to try and evoke both beads and bowling balls. Not sure how preparatory this song is, though.

  4. quartet conductor flattered (1m 3s)

    This was originally supposed to be a string quartet, but I realized I didn't know how to write that kind of piece and wasn't particularly inclined to. (My first string quartet being written without listening to it would've been funny, though.)

  5. diagnostic decay bulk (1m 18s)

    Used some crunchier chords to get that underground decaying facility feeling.

  6. cymbals beyond (1m 0s)

    Not sure what makes these cymbals more beyond than other ones.

  7. spelling palpable hombre oilcloth (0m 40s)

    Vibraslap kind of evokes something mechanical, right? The resemblance is palpable, maybe.


    First song in the LOUD EXCEPTIONS half of the album. This is my first song in VCV Rack! Performing an arrangement by muting / unmuting parts is tricky, especially when you're doing it with a mouse. (There are some abrupt cutoffs from when I muted something too early. I'm leaving it in as part of the casual spirit of this project, and also because it's kind of neat.)

    Maybe in the future I'll do a patch walkthrough or something on Youtube, but writing all that out sounds like a pain. The basic structure of this one is that there's a melodic part playing random notes from D pentatonic over a chord progression. Various parameters are modulated over time for extra fun.

  9. MIDFIELD SPOUT (4m 11s)

    It is so easy and fun to just noodle in VCV Rack. Once you can wrap your head around the tangle of wires it's really easy to get carried away in the noises. This song features a chord progression that moves forward to the next chord at random, which I think sounds pretty neat.


    I assume a sandblast extraction filer racecar is a vehicle designed to go fast by spewing large amounts of sand behind it. It's a massive danger to everyone behind and/or downwind of it.

    The hi-hats are way too loud for a good chunk of the song. Whoops!

  11. BAIT CLINKING (2m 51s)

    I need to mess around with weird delays more in the future. Smearing audio around is fun.